The matching that we detected was
based entirely on webworm offspring fed a uniform diet. That is to say that they all
experienced the same environment during development. Consequently, the
variation among larvae in detoxification capacity was presumably genetic. These
genetic differences might be irrelevant, however, if larvae can adjust metabolism of each
furanocoumarin to match what they consume.
To test that possibility, we concocted two artificial diets
that were quite different from what they encounter in plants and also quite different from
each other. Diet 1 lacked isopimpinellin and sphondin, and Diet 2 had much more
isopimpinellin and sphondin and much less xanthotoxin than plant tissue.
Would feeding on these diets cause webworms change their
metabolism profiles accordingly?